The Best People: Trump Appoints Inept Band of Morons to Re-Open the Country, Governors Say Not So Fast

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Having blithely left states in the lurch to fight the pandemic but now imperiously insisting he gets to decide who among us should have to die (and when) for late-stage capitalism, Trump has appointed his usual raggedy-ass-collection of zealots, relatives and sycophants with no discernible skills - and no public health expert among them - to decide when it's time to re-open our ravaged economy. The seven officials of his Council To Re-Open America are his daughter, his son-in-law, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, adviser Larry Kudlow, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer - aka, a vapid grifter handbag designer, a power-hungry grifter slumlord, a Tea Party wingnut, a cable TV host with famously bad judgment who in February declared the virus "contained," a steel kingpin known for bailing out Trump's Taj Majal, falling asleep at the U.N. and predicting the virus would be swell for American jobs, a cartoon-villain banker who's worked to keep Trump's taxes hidden and bail out huge corporations, and a China trade hawk tasked with bullying other countries per Trump's orders. Many Americans were horrified by the naming of corrupt people who've already fucked up everything and only care about the re-election of the guy who got us here, unfavorably comparing them to the Seven Dwarves, a bunch of drunk ferrets, a "random group of seven white people with no proven skills," and the worst episode of Gilligan's Island, "where the same 7 people have to do everything, and all they have is coconuts." Some were disappointed the group doesn't include Dennis Rodman or The Pillow Guy; others wondered if calling Ivanka and Jared "officials" means "their Dick Tracy decoder rings got delivered," but conceded their presence would make it easier for them to get their cut. "This can't be real," one argued. Another: "It's always real. God help us."

Meanwhile, Trump increasingly, terrifyingly inhabits an alternate universe where his pandemic response is all good. With things moving toward his much-touted May 1 re-opening of a ravaged economy he largely created but takes no responsibility for, he now says he alone has the power to declare we're good to open things up to more apocalypse. On Monday, sounding seven years old, he tweeted, "For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States...Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect." He repeated the (false) claim in a wildly unhinged rally/briefing. Because he clearly still hasn't read the Constitution - shocker - and because at this point they are well and truly done with his murderous incompetence, multiple governors responded to his claim with a middle finger and their own damn plans. Six northeast states - New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island - have jointly announced a regional task force led by New York's Andrew Cuomo to shape their own economic strategy going forward. As the coronavirus crisis starts to ebb, each state will contribute three representatives - the state's top health official, top economic development official, and governor’s chief of staff; those 18 members, said Cuomo, will devise a plan to reopen the economy "driven by data and experts, not opinion and politics." The same day, governors of three western states - California, Oregon and Washington - announced a joint pact in the same spirit. "The West Coast is guided by science," wrote California's Gavin Newsom. "(We) will work together on a shared vision focused on health.. Together, we’ll meet this moment." Residents of those states wildly applauded the wonders before them - competence, empathy, leadership, adults in the room. Yes. They do still exist. Hang in.

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